Gameweek 3 – Stats Blast

As we enter the third week of the season, it’s time to take a look at who has had the sturdiest defence so far and although we’ve only had a couple of gameweeks to peruse, we can already start to get a better idea as to how teams are going to fare this season.

In terms of teams that are yet to concede a goal, only Everton are yet to see the opposition place the ball into their empty net and with the Toffees going to Aston Villa on Friday night, FPL managers may be paying extra attention to Marco Silva’s backline.

At the same time, the fact that only Everton have managed to keep two clean sheets signifies just how good the current crop of top-flight attackers are and in addition to this, last week eight of the ten Premier League matches ended with both teams scoring.

And when looking at the season wide returns of both teams to score since 2014/15, it looks as follows

  • 2014/15 – 49.21%
  • 2015/16 – 51.84%
  • 2016/17 – 50.79%
  • 2017/18 – 48.95%
  • 2018/19 – 51.32%

It shows that on average you are looking at four to five games that will end up with both teams conceding and this season we are at 55% for the campaign, due to a rather solid opening week from a defensive point of view.

Therefore, if you want to beat the bookies on this particular market with an accumulator, don’t overload your bet slip with too many picks. The key here, is to win slightly smaller but also hopefully more often.

While if we look at the defences that have failed to keep clean sheets in either game, then the list is perhaps longer and with some names that you may not have first thought – a list that reads as follows:

  • Aston Villa
  • Bournemouth
  • Chelsea
  • Liverpool
  • Newcastle
  • Norwich
  • Southampton
  • Tottenham
  • Watford
  • West Ham

Now of course, some of this can be caveated by teams having difficult fixtures (for example (Tottenham away at Manchester City in week 2 and Chelsea away at Manchester United in week 1) but on the basis of Liverpool’s fixtures, no clean sheets is something of a surprise.

Although if you were a Tottenham fan, you might be asking the question as to whether or not Tottenham would have been more solid with Jan Vertonghen as part of a central defensive partnership.

I guess it is all something of a moot point now but if he does get the nod in Spurs’ next game against Newcastle, then a clean sheet for Mauricio Pochettino’s men could almost be something of an FPL banker.

While when it comes to Liverpool, there is the different caveat that both the goals they have conceded have come courtesy of Adrian rather than Allison and had the Brazilian been in between the sticks it could have been a different story.

While the reading is a lot worse for Watford, who have not only failed to keep a clean sheet, but they have conceded four goals and also not scored themselves – something that currently consigns to the bottom of the Premier League.

Now admittedly it is only the second week of the season in which we are basing these stats, so there’s no real need to throw the baby out of the bath water but at the same time, this is not a team that exudes confidence from either an FPL or betting point view.

The same can be said for the likes of Southampton and Newcastle, who although have each found the net on a solitary occasion, their defences have been incredibly porous and again defenders from these two teams should not be considered for FPL selection.

The final team of the quartet who have yet to score a point are Aston Villa and it is almost as if Dean Smith has too much choice at his disposal at centre back and therefore trying to select a partnership that can ward off an attacking threat, is still very much a work in progress.

This trend will evolve other time but although in real life you can perhaps afford a sluggish start, the same cannot be said in terms of the fantasy realm and therefore these nuggets of information, even this early in the campaign should definitely be taken on board.

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